User fees at Reservoir to be voted on again

FILE PHOTO: Barnett Reservoir

    RIDGELAND, Miss. – Boaters may not have to pay a lake user fee after all for boating on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

    The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District’s Parks Policy Committee voted Monday to recommend rescinding the proposed lake usage fee at the Reservoir.

    The fees are expected to start on October 1.

    “We received many comments both pro and con on the proposed usage fee, and after taking those into consideration, the Committee decided it would be best to send it back to the staff for further study,” said John Sigman, general manager of the PRVWSD. “This serves as an example of our board’s willingness to listen to its constituents and involve them in the decision-making process.”

    The fees were passed at an April meeting by the Board of Directors for PRVWSD. The board said the money will be used to update boat ramps, increase or replace navigational aids and improve shore support facilities.

    The projected annual revenue from the program ranged from $250,000 to $300,000.

    Below are the rates for the fees:

  • Boats under 26 feet — $35 annual, $90 for three years
  • Boats 26 feet and above — $50 annual, $135 for three years
  • 10-day, any size, consecutive days — $10.

Decals will be good from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2016. The only vessels excluded from the user fees are paddle boards, sail boards, kayaks, canoes and approved towable devices, plus boats operated by law enforcement, fire/rescue, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and PRVWSD work boats.

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